Saturday, March 16, 2019

Arrowood Sonoma Chardonnay and Goldeneye Pinot Noir

Arrowood Sonoma Chardonnay and Goldeneye Pinot Noir for Mile's First Birthday Dinner

For grandson Miles' first birthday, Erin and Johnnie hosted a gala birthday dinner that included pasta, chicken marsala, italian beef and peppers and, of course, birthday cake! I brought from the cellar an easy sipping white, Arrowood Sonoma Chardonnay, and a red, Goldeneye Pinot Noir.

We're big fans of Arrowood, mostly known for Cabernets from across Sonoma County.  This Chardonnay is like their Cabernet labels from the broader appellation of Sonoma County, offering good value QPR (quality-price-ratio). The Arrowood Estate Chateau and winery in lower Sonoma Valley just above the town of Sonoma is a favorite stop during our visits to the area.

Arrowood Sonoma County Chardonnay 2014

This is a broad appellation blend of select Chardonnay from across Sonoma County, released in certain years with large excess production yields of suffcient quality, this being the last release of this label. 

The fruit is sourced from the Russian River Valley (40%), Sonoma-Los Carneros (35%), Sonoma Coast (20%), and Sonoma Valley (5%). The Sonoma County and the Sonoma Coast growing regions are known for warm days tempered by morning fog and afternoon breezes coming from the Pacific Ocean. This climate is well suited to the more delicate, early-ripening variety Chardonnay allowing the fruit to develop slowly and consistently, resulting in wines of full flavor, complexity, and character.

This Chardonnay presented dark golden color, bright crisp acid, balanced round fruits of apple, peach, orange and tangerine with hints of vanilla and honey and a touch of oak. This is an excellent QPR value with a release price around $30 but found at the wine super stores for near $20.

RM 89 points.

Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2006 

For easy sipping with dinner, I pulled this Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from the cellar from the anniversary year of Erin and Johnnie to commemorate Miles' birthday. 

Goldeneye is one of the broad portfolio of brands of the well known Duckhorn of Napa Valley. Goldeneye Winery was founded in 1996, years before the Pinot Noir boom that emerged on the scene over the next decade in California. Goldeneye was founded 1990, when, after fifteen years making Bordeaux-varietal wines, Dan and Margaret Duckhorn embarked on producing a Pinot Noir that would reflect the true terroir expression of California Pinot Noir, one that might rival their acclaimed Merlots produced at Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley. To produce such a Pinot Noir, they turned to the cool-climate environs of Anderson Valley in Sonoma County running from the west, only a few miles from the cool Pacific Ocean, eastward twenty miles to the town of Boonville.  

Goldeneye is crafted predominantly from estate vineyards to embody the unique terroir of Anderson Valley reflecting what they refer to as the wind, water and fog of remote Sonoma County. The vineyards span a range of eight miles and embody a combination of warm sunny days and cool foggy nights and mornings that allow the grapes to mature slowly and to develop to their native varietal character.

The 2006 vintage was the 10th harvest of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. 

Garnet colored, medium bodied, currant and dark cherry fruits with notes of cedar, anise and hints of cinnamon spice and herbs.

RM 89 points. 

Wine Enthusiast gave this 91 points, Wine Spectator 90 points.